Report: Braves still in on Ozuna but there is a “difference in dollars”

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With pitchers and catchers reporting in a matter of weeks, the Marcell Ozuna saga will soon come to an end. I’m not sure if the odds are in the Braves’ favor, considering the report that came out earlier this week. Pio Deportes, a site based in the Dominican Republic (where Marcell Ozuna is from), reported that he was looking for a deal in the $88-100 million range over four years.

It would be highly disappointing, especially this late in the offseason, but I would be shocked if the Braves gave him a long-term contract like that. It just hasn’t been Alex Anthopoulos’ style since he became the general manager in Atlanta, and he’s made no exceptions. So it was unsurprising when Jon Heyman tweeted late Thursday night that the Braves remain in the mix for Ozuna, but there is still a “difference in dollars.”


However, it doesn’t matter how much money Ozuna desires if nobody is willing to give it to him. As Heyman mentions, he has yet to sign, and there are only two weeks until spring training. That could be because the uncertainty around the DH being in the National League next season has watered down his market, or it also could be because he has overvalued his services — just as he did last season, which is why he settled for a one-year, $18 million contract with the Braves.

When Pio Deportes originally reported Ozuna’s desires, they mentioned the Twins and Rays as possible competition for The Big Bear. However, the Twins recently re-signed Nelson Cruz, which likely takes them out of the running, leaving the Rays. It would be a shame if Atlanta were outbid for one of their star players by Tampa Bay, who has spent so little over the years.

I will be the first to admit nobody knows what Alex Anthopoulos will do before it’s done. With that being said, it sure looks like the same song and dance this offseason. I highly doubt he will be able to convince Ozuna to take another one-year deal, but he won’t go four years, just like he refused to with Josh Donaldson last offseason. If Ozuna isn’t willing to take a shorter contract with a higher AAV, the Braves will be out of luck.

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